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Joint media release
Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
David Hawker MP
Federal Member for Wannon

22 February 2006

Country Fire Authority and Bureau of Meteorology work together to improve fire warnings in the Grampians

The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the Hon. David Hawker MP, Federal Member for Wannon, today announced that a new Automatic Weather Station had been commissioned at Mt William in the Grampians National Park in Western Victoria.

The new site at Mt William was carefully selected in cooperation with the Country Fire Authority (CFA), Parks Victoria, and the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) to provide weather observations covering the Grampians region at an altitude of more than 1,000 metres above sea level.

" The new facility, along with other upgrades in the network, will help the Bureau, CFA and DSE to closely monitor the weather. This will contribute towards safer and more effective fire fighting and fire management including prescribed burning", Mr Hunt said.

Federal Member for Wannon, the Hon. David Hawker MP, said the CFA had provided funding for the new weather station which will continue a long history of co-operation between the Bureau of Meteorology and the CFA throughout the area.

"Mount William is the highest mountain within the Grampians National Park and placing the new automatic weather station there will greatly assist in fire fighting operations in the higher parts of the Grampians.

"This weather station will improve the fire monitoring ability of fire fighters operating within the fire-prone Grampians area and in turn, help the local community," Mr Hawker said

Mr Hunt said the data from the Mt William site was already proving valuable to fire monitoring operations.

"The data from the Automatic Weather Station will be reported to the Bureau every half hour during the fire season and every hour at other times.

"All reports will be forwarded to the CFA and DSE every 10 minutes during hazardous conditions to ensure that the fire authorities have the very latest information available."

Mr Hunt said the new Automatic Weather Station would become part of the Bureau's network of over 500 Automatic Weather Stations nationwide.

Media enquiries:
Kristy McSweeney 0415 740 722 (Mr Hunt's office)
Jane Templeton (Office of Mr Hawker) 02 6277 4005

Commonwealth of Australia